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U.S. shooter in Trayvon Martin case appears in court

(Xinhua)

09:47, April 13, 2012

WASHINGTON, April 12 (Xinhua) -- George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot black teenager Trayvon Martin, on Thursday made his first court appearance at Florida's John E. Polk Correctional Facility.

Seminole County Judge Mark Herr, who spoke via a closed-circuit television connection during the four-minute hearing, set Zimmerman's arraignment for May 29.

Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, did not ask that Zimmerman be released on bond, although he said earlier he wanted his client released as soon as possible. He noted being out on bail could jeopardize Zimmerman's safety.

Zimmerman was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. He turned himself in on the same day.

Martin, a 17-year-old high school student, was fatally shot while walking to the house of his father's fiancee in a gated community in Sanford, Florida on Feb. 26. Zimmerman, 28, a neighborhood watch volunteer, said he shot the teen in self- defense. The incident gained national attention and many, including the Martin family, believe that race was a factor.

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